AvenueQ, I think it's truly amazing and wonderful you haven't had any symptoms or exacerbations since 1975
It's fear that keeps me from using a DMD at this stage of the game - fear the DMDs will cause more problems than they would ever solve and possibly making me worse.
At the first appointment with my current neuro he was not happy I wasn't on a DMD. He did a neuro exam and looked at the MRIs I brought. He then told me "do not change a single thing your doing." He does not want me on a DMD.
My MS started in the cervical spine and to this day I only have 2 brain lesions but numerous c-spine lesions. Based on the c-spine MRI I should not be doing as well as I am. Because of those c-spine lesions I should not be ambulatory without a mobility aid(s) but I am. There is no logical reason for my abilities. I really believe my body doesn't realize it's not supposed to do what it's doing and I have no explaination.
Is it possible the disease will catch up to me, kicking me big time in the butt? Yes, but that could be the case for anyone even if they use the DMDs.
I am not anti-drug. I have symptoms and I will use symptom management meds if needed and as long as they help me with few if any side affects.
Was your neuro able to tell you how you would know if Copaxone was working?
The DMDs are supposed to slow progression and hopefully space out exacerbations. Some have reported an improvement in symptoms but these drugs were not meant to help with symptoms.
My exacerbations, one per each of these years:
My neuros doubt the DMDs could have spaced the exacerbations out any better than what my body has done all on it's own.
If someone is looking to the MRI to prove the DMD is working that's not really reliable since lesions can and do disappear with a patient having more or less lesions even without drugs.
Yes, I have been diagnosed for 22 years but I have had symptoms since I was a kid and just recently had another symptom show up that was around when I was about 12 years old and beyond. I am still thrown when that happens, to realize what I found painful or annoying as a kid was really MS.
AvenueQ, You do what you have to for your health. If that means following your neuros advice and using Copaxone then that's what you do.
Wishing you all the best
By the way - I don't recommend someone approach their disease the same way I do since there is no way to know if someone will have the same outcome as myself. Just a different view of this disease.